NEW YORK — The U.S. pastor who took it upon himself to fly to Sudan to meet with and pray for imprisoned persecuted Christian mother Meriam Ibrahim was among those celebrating her freedom Thursday. He credited the 27-year-old married mother's release to the outcry of people from around the world who were captivated by her steadfast Christian witness in the face of impending death.
"Praise God for that," Pastor William Devlin told The Christian Post in response to Ibrahim's early morning flight out of Sudan, where she had been held imprisoned for nearly one year. Devlin returned to New York City on July 20 after a week-long trip to Sudan, where he says he spent an hour and a half with Ibrahim, her husband Daniel Wani and their two children.
"I think it was really the outcry of people from around the world," added Pastor Devlin, commenting on what he thought led to Ibrahim's release just days after his visit with her at the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum. Indeed, the young woman's case resonated with many around the world and many were moved to petition for her release. One such petition, published on Change.org, had more than one million supporters. more >>
The largest Presbyterian denomination in the United States released a statement Tuesday demanding that President Barack Obama push Israel and Hamas towards negotiating a ceasefire immediately.
"The situation is escalating beyond control. The bloodshed and wielding of power in the contested land is unconscionable," reads the statement from the Presbyterian Church (USA) Office of the General Assembly."Just as the United States has moved swiftly to provide $47 million in humanitarian assistance to Gaza, America also must lead the way in insisting on a ceasefire and enabling negotiations."
The statement also said that the PCUSA leaders "urge President Obama to use all the diplomatic weight afforded the highest office of this nation to end this conflict, and support all steps toward lasting peace in the Middle East." more >>
A former North Carolina pastor shot himself in the head Saturday moments after authorities appeared at his home with arrest warrants related to alleged child sex offenses.
Michael Reece Mullis, 63, pastored Near Calvary Baptist Church in Concord, North Carolina, for 20 years and was wanted by police on two counts of indecent liberties with a child. Now, police are forced to close the case.
The normally outspoken and media-engaged Pastor Mark Driscoll of Seattle-based Mars Hill Church, who has attempted to stay away from the spotlight for several months since being embroiled in controversy this past year, admits that it has been a tough season for the church and it is time for reconciliation.
In a 30-minute video on the church's website in which he primarily addresses the Mars Hill congregation (or family), Driscoll admits to the mishandling of a transitional period in which church leaders were dismissed in an uncaring fashion.
"Substantive organizational changes were really caused by our church going to multiple locations and leaders being spread out across our various locations," Driscoll explains in the video released over the past weekend. "At the time we were not, I was not, as sympathetic or empathetic as we should have been." more >>
Members of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention toured two Texas facilities Tuesday that are providing temporary shelter to illegal immigrant children from Central America.
During their tour, members met with U.S. Border Patrol agents, spoke to children with the help of translators, and learned more about the work of pastors who are facilitating humanitarian efforts to meet the needs of immigrants who are flocking to the U.S.
"For me, touring the facility puts a human face on the crisis," Russell Moore, president of the ERLC told The Christian Post Tuesday after he toured the Customs and Border Protection facility in McAllen. more >>
If senior pastors want to maintain great leaders within their church, they should allow them to implement their own vision and not view their talents as a threat, says Craig Groeschel, lead pastor of Oklahoma-based LifeChurch.tv.
In a recent interview with Catalyst executive Brad Lomenick, Groeschel discussed how his four-member leadership group has remained intact since forming the team three years after he founded the now multisite megachurch in 1996.
"They're better than I am, that's how it's supposed to be. They should be better than I am at certain things. If they're not, I didn't select the right people. If I don't trust them, I didn't select the right people. And if they don't have the freedom to do what they're supposed to do, then something is not right," said Groeschel. more >>